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Notable Cases & News

Garden Court Chambers revises policy on Stratford Magistrates' Court

23 May 2024

Garden Court Chambers statement on security searches at Stratford Magistrates' Court

8 May 2024

Garden Court Chambers and Garden Court North remember Ian Macdonald QC

Garden Court Chambers and Garden Court North were honoured to host a memorial event for Ian Macdonald QC 1939-2019 at Middle Temple Hall on Tuesday 7 February 2023.

17 February 2023

Garden Court secures top tier rankings in the Legal 500 2023

Garden Court Chambers is proud to be recognised as a Top Tier set again in the Legal 500.

30 September 2022

Members of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team support escalating proposed CBA action to include days of action

17 June 2022

Stephanie Harrison QC, Chair and Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, comments on the Nationality and Borders Bill receiving Royal Assent

29 April 2022

Garden Court Crime Team statement on no returns action

30 March 2022

Garden Court secures number one rankings in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2022

21 October 2021

Garden Court Chambers Crime Team shortlisted for Crime Set of the Year by Chambers Bar Awards 2021

We are delighted to announce that the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team has been shortlisted by the Chambers Bar Awards 2021 for Crime Set of the Year.

27 August 2021

Front Line Defenders named winner of 2018 United Nations Human Rights Prize

Garden Court's James Mehigan is on the Board of Directors of the UK branch of  Front Line Defenders.

26 October 2018

Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield to go on trial for manslaughter by gross negligence

The trial of Mr Duckenfield is currently listed to start on 10 September.

29 June 2018

Independent Panel finds that more than 450 patients died as a result of dangerous and inappropriate prescribing practices at Gosport War Memorial Hospital

In 2013 James Mehigan of Garden Court Chambers’ Inquests Team represented the daughter of Gladys Richards at the inquest .

20 June 2018

Hillsborough Review backs ‘Hillsborough Law’

Seventeen barristers from Garden Court Chambers were involved in the Hillsborough inquests, representing 80 families of those who died.

1 November 2017

Hillsborough disaster: criminal charges against six people

Seventeen barristers from Garden Court Chambers represented 80 families at the Hillsborough inquest.

29 June 2017

Garden Court and Stephanie Harrison QC shortlisted for Human Rights and Public Law awards

Garden Court has been shortlisted at the Chambers Bar Awards, whilst Stephanie and our Public Law Team are shortlisted at the Legal 500 Awards.

21 October 2016

High Court quashes Parole Board refusal to recommend open conditions

The claimant was represented by James Mehigan, a member of the Garden Court Public and Prison Law Teams.

21 October 2016

James Mehigan acts for Child Soldiers International before International Criminal Court

James Mehigan is a member of Garden Court International.

12 October 2016

Garden Court Chambers recognised for “outstanding achievement” following Hillsborough inquests

Garden Court Chambers Hillsborough inquest team wins Outstanding Achievement Award at Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2016.

8 July 2016

Hillsborough inquest concludes 96 fans were unlawfully killed

Garden Court Chambers represented 77 families at the inquests.

26 April 2016

Supreme Court and Privy Council hand down landmark decision on law of joint enterprise

Jo Cecil, for Just for Kids Law, and James Mehigan, for Ruddock, are both of Garden Court's Crime Team.

18 February 2016

Supreme Court and Privy Council hear landmark joint enterprise appeals

Joanne Cecil and James Mehigan are both members of Garden Court Chambers’ Crime Team.

28 October 2015

Garden Court wins Legal 500 crime set of the year award

The winners in these awards are chosen by the Legal 500 as a result of thousands of interviews with firms, sets and counsel.

8 October 2015

18 Garden Court barristers instructed on Hillsborough Inquest

Garden Court Chambers are pleased to announce that 18 Garden Court barristers have been instructed on the Hillsborough inquest.

18 October 2013

All related news


Prior to coming to the Bar, James worked as a researcher for three human rights organizations; Front Line Defenders - The International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders in Dublin (where he remains a trustee and company director of the UK branch), the International Council on Human Rights Policy in Geneva and the Ethical Investment Research Service in London. He has provided advice to numerous other NGOs. He is a former member of the Policy Council at Liberty and the legal advisory panel at the Child Rights International Network.

James' international practice also includes consultancy for a number of NGOs. Most notably he was invited by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights to be part of an international group of experts to provide an independent review of their operations.

In 2013 James received a Pegasus Scholarship to work at Onyango & Co in Kampala. The firm is one of the leading human rights and international criminal law firms in East Africa.

James is a former member of the Independent Monitoring Board at Pentonville Prison. He has a PhD on policing and has lectured in law at the University of East London. He is a lecturer in criminology at the Open University.


Defending Hope: Dispatches from the Front Lines in Palestine and Israel, Dublin: Veritas (2018). (with Eoin Murray)

'Criminal Law, Evidence and Procedure' in D Clarry and C Sargeant (eds) (2017), UK Supreme Court Yearbook, London: Appellate Press, pp.324-335. (with Henry Blaxland QC and Joanne Cecil)

'Universal Jurisdiction for International Crimes in Irish Law', Irish Jurist (2010). (with Alan DP Brady)

'Crime, Globalisation and Human Rights' in Criminal Justice: Local and Global, Cullompton: Willan (2010). [Approximately 40,000 copies of this book have been sold.] (with Reece Walters and Louise Westmarland)

'Problematizing Prison Privatization', in Handbook of the Prison, Cullompton: Willan (2007). (with Abigail Rowe)

'Bringing Cases Against War Criminals: Universal Jurisdiction in Ireland', Law Society Gazette (July, 2006).

Training and Seminars

  • Challenging Violations of Children's Rights through strategic litigation in Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine, Child Rights International Network, Belgrade, November 2016.
  • Challenging Police Brutality in Court: A Practical Approach, European Roma Rights Centre, Belgrade, October 2015
  • Parole Reform and the ECHR, Irish Penal Reform Trust Prison Law Seminar, Dublin, October 2012
  • Security and Protection in Human Rights Defenders' Cases, Avocats Sans Frontières and East Africa Law Society, Training for East African and Congolese Human Rights Lawyers, Kampala, June 2012
  • Bringing Cases Against War Criminals: Universal Jurisdiction in Ireland, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Universal Jurisdiction Conference, Malaga, March 2006

James has a PhD in policing and has lectured in law at the University of East London. He is a lecturer in criminology at the Open University.


As part of the team of lawyers representing families at the Hillsborough Inquests, James received Outstanding Achievement Awards from the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2016 and the Modern Law Awards 2016.

In 2009 he was nominated for the Bar Pro Bono Award for his contribution to the case of Balaj et al. before the UNMIK Human Rights Advisory Panel for Kosovo.


  • PhD in Criminology (Open University)
  • M Phil in Criminological Research (Cambridge University)
  • LLB (Hons) (Trinity College, Dublin)

Professional Membership

  • International Criminal Court Bar Association
  • Criminal Bar Association (CBA)
  • Haldane Society

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